I’ve had many names in Russian.

When I went to Moscow in 2009, my officially transliterated name on my visa was Rut Sperlok (Рут Сперлок). On my first day of class in Moscow, the teacher pronounced “Ruth” as Rus’ (Русь), as in Kievan Rus’, as in the name of Russia before she was Russia. My first year of Russian, however, I went by Ruf’ (Руфь), pronounced “Roof,” which is the name of the Biblical character Ruth in Russian. I’m not crazy about it as a name to go by, but the pun was too good to pass up, here on the rooftop of the world, a little closer to the sky.

This blog is my personal documentation of my year in Arkhangelsk, Russia, where I’m working as an English Teaching Assistant on a Fulbright grant.

A note on transliteration:

I’ll transliterate names of places and people and things I think you should know in Russian, using the standards of transliteration that match up with what I think makes sense. I also might sometimes put the Cyrillic in parentheses, because I like to be accurate, and I know there are some Russophones who may be reading.

“a” is pronounced “ah” as in “Ahhh, that was a delicious piece of pie!”

“u” is pronounced “oo” as in “Oooo, she’s cute!”


This is not an official Department of State website, and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the Department of State.

Here’s a map!

Arkhangelsk has a big red arrow pointing to it!

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